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October 2006

DentaLab News )
from Mainstreet Systems & Software... OCTOBER 2006
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    WRAPPING UP 2006

    With DentaLab for QuickBooks Release XI, we have wrapped up our 2006 to-do list of user group enhancements. Over 25 programming projects were completed this year by our technical staff along with corresponding educational support that includes an up-dated online Help system and a number of white papers that provide in-depth discussions on related topics.


    We also have available a written list of the 2006 enhancements that is yours for the asking. We recommend that everyone upgrade their system at least once a year. For those with up-to-date service agreements, there is no charge for this release.


    Here are some interesting stats from DQB's second year: About 60% chose the Enterprise (network) version; the smallest lab using DQB has 6 customers, the largest over 4400 customers; it has been installed in four countries (Australia, Canada, UK and USA), but we have received inquiries from over 30 countries; more than half of the labs have requested customization of their work tickets; it has been about half and half between those who chose self-installation and those who requested onsite installation and training.

    TRIVIA QUESTIONS: Do you know what a google is? How about a yahoo? For the answers, scroll down to the QuickBooks section.

    REMINDER! As we move into the final quarter of 2006, you may soon want to review the 2007 calendar and enter your holidays and other non-workdays for the year ahead.

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.



    Here are more frequently asked questions from your calls, as well as their answers:


    Q: Can we invoice a case more than once?

    A: Yes. Because many labs bill at each stage of a case, the system allows for multiple invoices. If an invoice already exists for a case number when you request a new one, the system will alert you and ask whether to overlay the prior invoice or create a new one. We recommend that you set standards and make it clear for your biller(s) on how to handle this. If a prior invoice was a mistake and has not yet been sent to the customer, it is appropriate to overlay it. If it was incorrect and sent out, an adjusting invoice or credit should be issued. If it is for the next stage, a new invoice should be created. You may want to set a standard for indicating for which stage it is such as affixing a digit to the invoice number, e.g. 7231DL-2.


    Q: Is there an easy way to do global changes, such as updating item prices?

    A: If you have Microsoft Excel available, one of the easiest ways to update is to export your file to an Excel spreadsheet, make the changes there, and then import your file back into QuickBooks. If you are going to change by a percentage for all or a specific set of items, use a formula to change a column or add a new one. Be sure you run a good backup before doing this, even if you are supremely confident.

    You can also use Excel to easily calculate percentages of item prices if you want to pay piece rate or hold your labor costs to a certain percentage of standard pricing. You can setup multiple formulas in corresponding columns to quickly calculate various percentages.


    Q: What is the most frequent installation question?

    A: It is a request for the initial login and password. They are right there in the documentation, but this gives us a clue as to how few people read the documentation. We still highly recommend that you take the time to read the Installation Guide and Startup documentation. These are short, quick and can truly ease your way into learning what to do.


    With the same look and feel of QuickBooks


    DentaLab for QuickBooks NEWS


    One of the nice features of a true Windows system is the ability to click column headings of a grid to sort the contents in the column. For example, one click of the name column sorts your customer list alphabetically (A-Z). Another click of the same column sorts it zybetically (Z-A). This is true of all columns and includes sorting of numeric and date fields.

    Clicking a column gives you an alternate way to find information quickly. For instance, you can sort customers by telephone numbers to zoom in on a particular area code or by state to view those in a particular area. You can first request a list of your on-hold cases and then sort these cases by the date field to check how long the oldest ones have been in that status. If you want to see which are your highest priced items, click on the price column. So try whatever comes to mind for whatever you want to know.

    Clicking columns is also available in My Computer and Explorer that are part of the Windows operating system. From the top taskbar, you can request View, then Details, and click columns to check on program and datafile names, as well as their sizes and dates.


    From our DentaLab support logs, we have two stories for you. From one lab, we heard that they thought they had a server crash because they could no longer launch QuickBooks or DentaLab for QuickBooks. We asked when they last ran their backups and it was at the end of the prior day. We confirmed that they had these. They also had their installation CD's on hand and we guided them to re-install once their equipment was fixed. When this was done, we asked them to go the Restore options for each system and select the backup file for the prior day. They clicked Restore for each and lickety-split, they were back in action with nothing lost. All of this was accomplished within the scope of their service agreement and there was no extra billing. They had done everything right.

    From another lab we received a desparate call because after installing an update from another software vendor, they could not launch QB or DQB. We guided them to check whether these were still present on the system and they were not. We learned that they had deleted some things, but were not quite sure what they had done. We asked them to check their Recycle Bin and they were not there. This lab could not recall where they had placed their installation CD's, could not recall when they last ran a backup. They needed a lot of guidance to download software replacements from the internet. They found their latest backups and they were dated almost 3 months before. It took a lot of grunt work to re-enter their critical information from printouts. They griped about getting a bill for their many hours of support. When we asked them to reconsider having a service agreement to lower their costs and to take advantage of the ongoing educational benefits of belonging to the user group, they again said no way.

    We find it sad whenever labs take on computer systems but do not take on the responsibility of learning enough about them to look out for themselves. Often, they have unrealistic expectations and no thought about maintaining the continuity of the information they enter each day. We hope you are all striving to be more like lab #1 and not #2.


    One of reasons QuickBooks has been such a success is that they provide ease of use for all levels of users, from novice to high expertise. The same thing is true for the DentaLab systems. For example, you can setup your case scheduling at whatever level is most comfortable for you.

    Some labs schedule their cases at approximately the same level of detail as their invoices. There might be only one or two items in each case, such as a particular type of crown or denture plus any metal or material. When scheduling, they setup only for the total number of days needed and the lab completion date for each item.

    The next level we see is to schedule work items corresponding to each work center or department. For these, you would likely see one or more items with schedule dates for the Preparatory or Models & Dies work center, another for Porcelain, and possibly one more for Metal Finishing.

    Those who want more highly-tuned schedules and/or to track closely technician productivity will have a lot more items corresponding to each step or procedure in the process of completing the case. This level of scheduling may involve a smaller unit of measure for determining daily limits and then corresponding schedule factors or multipliers for each step. Units of measure may be in hours or minutes or something in between.

    The DentaLab systems are designed to handle whichever level you choose. If you start simple, you can always make the decision to move up to a higher level when designing your cases and standard procedures. If it would help, we have samples given to us by other labs to guide you in determining your own setups.


    We are pleased to hear that so many of you are listening to the audio tutorials. If you are exploring the possibility of using DentaLab for QuickBooks or if you are already licensed but have a new employee or need a refresher, the DQB Tutorials are available at our website and on the trial or release CD sent to you.

    To take a look from any computer with internet capability, go to our website at, then choose Products, DentaLab for QuickBooks, Tutorials. We will be updating and enhancing the tutorials, so if there is anything you have noted that we have missed or if you would like to add your ideas or wish list, give us a call at 215-723-7041 or send an email to

    Your DentaLab Support Team


    Customization is available for all products

    Dental RX A terrific idea and handy for the labs. This simple yet effective program has:

    • Easier-to-read prescriptions
    • Provides consistency
    • Fewer errors due to misunderstanding between doctors and labs
    • Convenient tooth chart and calendar
    • Secured access
    • Time and cost-saving features

    Call 1-800-257-4535 or visit to learn more about Mainstreet Systems and our software designed specifically for dental laboratories.

    Learn more about Mainstreet Systems Products

    "Dental Lab for QuickBooks easily synchronizes data to QuickBooks for simple and accurate statement creation and reports for my accountant. Scanning has become a big part of submitting cases for us as we scan all Rx's and custom shade diagrams for easy retrieval and also lot and batch numbers for certain items. Plus we download photos of our own or from the Dr. We have also taken advantage of the ability to add digital images to our invoices and statements. Overall, I have been happy with this software for over four years and would highly recommend it."

    Kirk Randolph CDT
    Randolph Dental Laboratory, Texas

    See samples of what customers have to say

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